DSR NHRA U.S. Nationals Pre-Race Report

DSR NHRA U.S. Nationals Pre-Race Report

Denso Spark Plugs NHRA U.S. Nationals
Event No. 6
Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis
September 4-6, 2020

Highlights:

  • At the 1970 NHRA U.S. Nationals, DSR team owner Don Schumacher raced to his very first NHRA win. This weekend he will celebrate his team’s 350th victory on the 50th anniversary of his Indianapolis triumph.
  • DSR is guaranteed its milestone 350th win when Jack Beckman and Matt Hagan battle it out in their Dodge Charger SRT Hellcats in the rescheduled Indy 2 final round during Q3 on Saturday; the win will mark the eighth consecutive Funny Car triumph for DSR
  • As has been tradition since 2014, Funny Car point leader Tommy Johnson Jr. will once again pilot the special Riley Kids Funny Car, helping to raise awareness for DSR’s local children’s hospital on drag racing’s largest stage
  • Since 2006, DSR has raised over $716,000 for Riley Hospital for Children, and is conducting a series of fundraising initiatives surrounding the race weekend:
    • Cameo – DSR drivers are available for shout-outs via Cameo, now through Sept. 3 at 5:00 p.m. ET
    • Zoom – from now through Sept. 4 at 10:00 a.m. ET, fans can purchase entry into one of two Zoom meetings with DSR drivers, occurring on Sept. 4 at noon and 1:00 p.m. ET
    • Online Auction – autographed racing memorabilia and one-of-a-kind items are up-for-grabs via an online auction which runs now through Sept. 7 at noon E.T.
  • Beckman, Hagan, and Top Fuel standout Leah Pruett will all have the unique opportunity to earn two trophies over the course of the weekend:
    • Beckman and Hagan will compete for the rescheduled Indy 2 Funny Car trophy on Saturday, and the U.S. Nationals Funny Car event trophy on Sunday
    • Pruett will pull double-duty competing in both the Top Fuel and Factory Stock Showdown categories
  • Between Top Fuel, Funny Car, and the Factory Stock Showdown Series, DSR will campaign 10 cars over the course of the race weekend and will have the opportunity to win four trophies
  • DSR’s four-car Funny Car team occupies the first four spots in the point standings and will look to maintain its stronghold on the category this weekend
  • As the winner of the Dodge NHRA Indy Nationals presented by Pennzoil, Ron Capps enters the weekend as the most recent Funny Car race winner
  • Tony Schumacher recently announced he will return for six consecutive races in 2020, beginning with the U.S. Nationals where he will look to break into the Top Fuel top 10
  • With an unprecedented 10 U.S. Nationals victories, Schumacher is the winningest driver in Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis history
  • Hometown event for DSR which is headquartered two miles away from the famed Indy dragstrip
  • Home track for Antron Brown and Johnson, who both reside in the greater Indianapolis area

DSR-Owned Track Records:
Funny Car, E.T.: 3.799 seconds, Matt Hagan (2017)
Funny Car, speed: 338.77 mph, Matt Hagan (2017)

(EXCERPT)

TOMMY JOHNSON JR.
Driver of the Riley Kids Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Indianapolis Highlights:

  • Two-time runner-up (2002, Indy 1 2020)
  • Four-time No. 1 qualifier (1999-2000, Indy 1 & Indy 3 2020)

Last Event (Indy 3):
Qualified No. 1; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Alexis DeJoria in E1; defeated by Paul Lee in E2)

2020 Season Statistics:
One event win; 11 round wins; ranked No. 1 in points

Career Statistics:
475 races; 20 wins (two Top Fuel); 20 No. 1 qualifiers (one Top Fuel)

Noteworthy:
As has been tradition since 2014, Funny Car point leader Tommy Johnson Jr. will once again pilot the special Riley Kids Funny Car, helping to raise awareness for DSR’s local children’s hospital on drag racing’s largest stage
As a resident of nearby Avon, Ind., Johnson considers Indianapolis to be a hometown event

Quotable:
“I’m really looking forward to this race. The U.S. Nationals is the biggest drag race on the planet. It’ll be a little different this year since we’ve already run three races at Indy, but it will also bring back some normalcy because it’ll have that special ‘U.S. Nats’ flare. We’re back in the Riley paint scheme this weekend and that’s always really special, and we’re looking forward to raising more money for them this weekend.

“We elected not to test ahead of the U.S. Nationals this year because our car is running really, really well and we’ve had so many shots at the track already. I’m very pleased with how our car is running, and how well we’ve performed at the last couple of races here in Indy. We were No. 1 qualifier at two out of the three Indy events and were No. 2 at the other. That shows we have an excellent race car, we just need to put a good race day together. We have a runner-up and a semifinal finish here and would love nothing more than to get a victory at the U.S. Nationals. If you have a U.S. Nationals victory on your resume, that’s what everyone as a driver wants, and this will be a special year to do it.”


About Don Schumacher Racing:
Established in 1998 as a single-car Top Fuel team, Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) has grown to become the winningest organization in NHRA Drag Racing history. Including team owner Don Schumacher’s five NHRA Funny Car titles from the 1970s, DSR’s current win count stands at 349, and DSR is looking forward to reaching the ‘350 milestone’ during the 2020 U.S. Nationals. DSR owns 17 world championships in three different NHRA categories.

Headquartered in Brownsburg, Indiana, DSR currently fields eight professional teams competing in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. In Top Fuel, the Matco Tools/Global Electronic Technology/Toyota dragster driven by three-time world champion Antron Brown, the Nordic Boats/Revchem Composites/Hawkeye Industries dragster driven by Cory McClenathan, the Mopar/Pennzoil dragster driven by Leah Pruett, and the Okuma/Sandvik Coromant machine driven by eight-time world champion, Tony Schumacher. In Funny Car, the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat driven by 2016 world champion Ron Capps, the Mopar Express Lane/Pennzoil/Sandvik Coromant Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat piloted by two-time series title-holder Matt Hagan, and in Doug Chandler’s ‘giving cars,’ 2012 NHRA world champion Jack Beckman in the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge, and Tommy Johnson Jr. behind the wheel of the MD Anderson Dodge.

DSR also campaigns two Factory Stock Showdown entries. The duo is piloted by Pruett, the 2018 Factory Stock Showdown Series champion, and former Pro Stock racer Mark Pawuk.

Follow Don Schumacher Racing at Shoeracing.com, on Twitter and Instagram at @shoeracing and Facebook.com/shoeracing.

Link to original DSR release